Top 10 Videogame Sidekicks

A great protagonist can really carry a game, but a trusty sidekick who sticks with you every step of the way can be just as important. Through gameplay or story development they can provide a strong bond for the player and make a game that much more enjoyable. Some are so well developed that they even go on to star in their own games, but people will always remember their original roles as memorable sidekicks.

10) Daxter


You’ve gotta love a sidekick who adds comic relief, and that’s exactly what Daxter does in the Jak & Daxter series. His look alone is comical, as he’s been turned into an ottsel (otter/weasel), but that doesn’t prevent him from letting the funny remarks fly. He may not be the bravest hero out there but he still does a good job of helping Jak out. He even went on to play the lead role in his own game, the PSP platformer Daxter.  

9) Elena Fisher


Elena is smart, attractive, and knows how to handle a gun. No wonder why Nathan Drake has a bit of a thing for her. Elena’s occasionally abrasive personality provides some snappy back-and-forth banter between her and Nathan, but the connection that the two characters make really elevates the narrative in both Uncharted and Uncharted 2. You know Elena has Nathan’s back despite the crazy situations he gets himself in, proving to be a faithful sidekick in both of his adventures.  

8) Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong

Donkey Kong is often recognized as one of the greatest videogame characters of all time, so naturally his best friend and sidekick Diddy Kong is also quite memorable. His first appearance in Donkey Kong Country would go on to cement him as a key character in the franchise. The game featured cooperative multiplayer where one player would control Donkey and the other Diddy. From that point on his fame would continue to rise and now he is a widely recognizable character with his trademark red hat and shirt. 

7) Tails


The Sonic games of recent years have not been very good. As a result, many of the characters’ images have taken a hit, including Tales. But back in the day when Tales was a playable character in the better Sonic games, it was easy to see how awesome of a character he was. He had the speed to keep on with Sonic but could also fly, making him a versatile and fitting companion. To this day I stand by the fact that playing as Tails is more fun than playing as Sonic. 

6) Clank


Clank is the perfect foil to Ratchet. Whereas Ratchet is headstrong with exceptional combat skills, Clank is more of the brains of the operation. It’d be hard to imagine the two getting very far without each other (though they are separated at points throughout the series). Clank proves quite useful with his assortment of packs, and it also helps that he is an extremely charming character. Who wouldn’t love an adorable miniature robot with an infectious laugh?  

5) HK-47


Compared to the rest of the characters on this list, HK-47 is less of a sidekick seeing as how he’s one of many who join you in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. But excluding him would just be too difficult to do. This assassination droid is hilariously cruel (talk about an odd combination). He refers to organic lifeforms as "meatbags" and thoroughly enjoys killing. Sure, this made him borderline crazy but that’s one of the reasons he’s so lovable. Video games could use more sociopathic robots.  

4) Max


When Sam & Max Hit the Road came out in 1993, what we got was an absolutely hilarious adventure game. One of the biggest contributing factors was Max, the "hyperkinetic, three-foot rabbity thing" who carries a pistol and has a penchant for violence. His partner Sam, on the other hand, is very laid back and more focused on the task at hand. But given the wacky situations the two find themselves in, Max compliments Sam quite well. Sometimes it takes an eccentric lagomorph to help solve a crime.  

3) Luigi


Luigi may only be number three on this list but he is probably the most famous videogame sidekick, just as Mario is arguably the most famous videogame character. As Mario’s brother he has made all kinds of appearances in the Mario series, some more prominent than others, but gamers around the world instantly recognize his green cap and shirt. Compared to Mario he’s a bit more shy but is always willing to lend a hand when his brother needs it.  

2) Alyx Vance

Alyx Vance

Considering Gordon Freeman is a completely silent protagonist, there needs to be someone helping you along who actually speaks. Luckily that character is Alyx Vance, who is one of the most impressive female characters in videogame history. Her strong-willed attitude makes her the perfect candidate for the human resistance, and it’s hard to not grow attached to her as she helps Gordon Freeman through City 17. She’s right by your side for essentially the entirety of Half-Life 2: Episode One and proves useful for both gameplay and story development. It’s at that point that she goes from useful companion to one of the best videogame sidekicks of all time.  

1) Yoshi


Yoshi not only proved to be a great sidekick to Mario but he provided a whole new set of gameplay mechanics. To this day riding Yoshi and eating enemies is synonymous with the series. Since his first appearance in Super Mario World on the SNES he has been featured in all kinds of Mario, and even Yoshi games, including Super Mario Galaxy 2 earlier this year and the "2.5-D" Yoshi’s Story. The dinosaur companion is now a Nintendo staple, and it’s all thanks to his role as Mario’s sidekick.  


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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